Karan Johar indeed pulled off a coup of sorts on his chat show, Koffee with Karan, by officially bringing together for the first time on national television, actor Shahid Kapoor and wife Mira Rajput. Despite more than a year since their wedding and becoming parents to a lovely baby girl, the couple looked completely head over heels in love, with their adorable chemistry, mushiness and public display of affection (PDA) on the coffee couch.
This episode was most certainly expected to be a memorable one, for it was the couple’s first TV outing together and the trailer to the episode had already got people into a frenzy about wanting to see this couple’s chemistry for real. Also, since it was a celeb couple, it was natural that the show would be discussed much after it was telecast. But what took me by surprise was the nature of judgements people were making regarding the couple and their marriage, after just one episode of seeing them together on national television.
To start with, an entire nation, like host Karan Johar, got uncomfortable with Mira and Shahid’s unstoppable PDA on the show and felt that the mushy, all-over-each-other couple should have been asked to get a room or go home. Are we being too harsh on a young couple, smitten in love and just one year into marriage? Maybe, as they get older, they might find PDA unnecessary when it makes people around them uncomfortable. Or maybe not. In any case, is display of harmless affection by a real-life couple such a big deal that we should make them look like insensitive monsters in love?
“I think the graph for an arranged marriage is a lot better in the long term," shared the actor, who went on to reveal that even though he was not familiar with the arranged marriage setup, he was slowly turning into a big supporter of the format. “Why is the couple promoting arranged marriages and early conception, as if it’s not already overdone in this country,” was the almost unanimous reaction to the statement.
According to a recent study by Statistic Brain, the divorce rate for arranged marriages in India was 1.2 percent — a significantly low number. Compared to the 88 percent of Indian marriages that are arranged, this low statistic does prove the success rate of arranged marriages. So there’s nothing wrong with a format, which you think is clichéd, if the couple involved in the marriage believe in it. For not all arranged marriages are as unfortunate as you think and by showing their understanding towards each other, the couple is probably turning out to be one fine example of arranged marriages that we are getting to see.
“Is Shahid Kapoor trying way too hard to glorify his marriage to a 20-year-old with zero ambitions in life?” asked someone. What’s wrong in wanting to get married and having kids early in marriage, if that’s what Mira wanted indeed? Why are we so quick to jump to conclusions and call her a gold-digger? Although, as a nation, we have a problem with Mira’s zero ambitions and early conception, if Mira was a super-achiever in her career on the other hand, we would have had a problem if she was not woman enough to sacrifice her soaring career for her babies.
Kapoor’s confession about falling in love only after pregnancy seemed to be the other comment that irked many. Shahid and Mira are blessed with a baby girl Misha and Shahid revealed that it was during her pregnancy that the couple got closer. Few people found this regressive. But what we need to understand is that every marriage is unique and evolves with different experiences. Whilst some bond over dates and dinner, there are yet others who might fall in love through sickness and pain. There were reports that Mira was advised bed-rest and had a tough pregnancy, owing to which the couple had to visit the hospital frequently. I would think that for a man to support his wife through a difficult pregnancy in the early months of marriage when he’s himself trying to find his feet is nothing short of laudable.
So, let’s cut them some slack and stop judging the couple and their marriage. What do we know about their lives and circumstances in just one episode that allows us to sit on our high horses and preach? No one but the couple involved in any marriage know what’s right for them and the path they should choose, going forward. Some of what the celeb couple is already doing, could be right, some things that we think we are wiser about, they will figure out along the way.
As Robert Fulghum said, “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love.”
So let’s go easy and allow love and weirdness in marriages around us before jumping to judge them. For that’s the only way to be real in this otherwise unreal world. Is it not?
Divya Nair Hinge
From the Editor’s Desk, Bonobology